Building of the Day: 583 Throop Ave.

The BOTD is a no-frills look at interesting structures of all types and from all neighborhoods. There will be old, new, important, forgotten, public, private, good and bad. Whatever strikes our fancy. We hope you enjoy.

Address: 583 Throop Avenue, corner of MacDonough St.
Name: Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church
Neighborhood: Stuyvesant Heights
Year Built: 1891-1895
Architectural Style: Neo-Gothic
Architects: Thomas Houghton
Landmarked: Yes

Why chosen:
As far back as 1868, the mostly Irish parishioners of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church were raising money to build a new church. The Brooklyn Eagle has literally hundreds of notices advertising the many fund raisers the church held over the years. They had the site, owning over 30 lots of land along Throop Avenue, between MacDonough and Gates, and a temporary wood frame church and rectory was dedicated by Brooklyn’s most famous Catholic, Bishop Loughlin, in 1869. For many years, this would be the only Catholic church in the immediate area. But as more and more immigrants came to Brooklyn with Catholic backgrounds, the Diocese of Brooklyn grew by leaps and bounds, and Our Lady of Victory very quickly outgrew the old frame church. In 1890, plans for a new church were announced, the architect chosen was Thomas Houghton, who would later design the very different St. Francis Xavier Church in Park Slope. OLOV is a classic Gothic style church, but the building stone is quite unusual – dark Manhattan schist, trimmed with white limestone. The contrast between the dark and light, the use of the bedrock material of the city, was all this quite deliberate and symbolic? Most definitely, and the upper class and successful Irish congregation, were probably well aware, too. It is a striking building, and makes up an impressive complex, along with the adjoining rectory and school, all in the same materials. Today, the congregation is African-American, and the church is still going strong.


Postcard dated from 1907.

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